EDMONTON -- Alberta confirmed 97 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths Thursday.

A total of 968 Albertans have now contracted the novel coronavirus, and 13 have died as a result.

The most recent victims are a man in his 90s at Calgary's McKenzie Towne Long Term Care Home and a man in his 80s in the North zone.

Of the total of cases so far, 174 have recovered from COVID-19 and 108 were spread in the community.

More than 4,000 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, Hinshaw said, and again, 98 per cent of them came back negative.

As of 3:45 p.m., there were 11,228 cases of COVID-19 and 132 deaths in Canada, while the worldwide tally of cases has reached one million.


There are now 74 coronavirus cases at nine continuing care facilities in Alberta, including 65 at McKenzie Towne.

"I expect more will be confirmed in the coming days," said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health. "The safety in these facilities is a serious issue and one that is being faced across Canada."

Outbreaks at another three Calgary facilities — Cedars Village Extendicare, AgeCare Seton and Carewest Sarcee — were caused by infected staff who also work at McKenzie Towne.

As a result of that, and the growing number of cases at continuing care homes, the province is putting new measures in place to prevent more outbreaks.

Staff at continuing care homes will be required to notify public health as soon as a case of COVID-19 is suspected or confirmed, or if two or more residents display virus symptoms, Dr. Hinshaw said.

Furthermore, staff who work at multiple facilities are required to tell their supervisor if they are working at a home where there is a confirmed or suspected case.

The new standards are enforceable by law.

"It's become clear in the past couple of days that we must do more to protect those in congregate settings," Alberta's top doctor said.

"These expectations are designed to limit the risk of spread while ensuring residents can continue to receive the care they need."

The province also confirmed two new cases at Manoir du Lac in the North zone and one case at Sheriff King Home in Calgary.